When the junk valve breaks off like a sharpened spear, and its 4" into the base where one may grab it and actually turn it without further shattering, and the internal wrenches are an hour away, and the house gets heated with the rig, the chop and fix makes sense.

Some of the tops come off easy as their is a pvc linerbag inside, so economically, not trying to observe the tank and changing a good water heater that someone may have stepped on is a extraordinarily foolish move.

But its a goldmine for the plumber that got to take the unit home or for the guy that picked it up on the curb.